Harvest Monday July 15, 2019

It’s time for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The bush beans are setting on here and made several appearances last week. They were a welcome addition to our harvests, with a promise of more to come. I’m growing a short row of Derby beans, my favorite round podded green bush bean. Many of these got tossed with olive oil and roasted in a cast iron skillet. The pole beans are just now starting to bloom and it won’t be long before the early ones are ready. I like to plant a few bush beans to give us early beans, and the last couple of years I’ve been replanting in early August to give us a second crop in the same space. That strategy of planting runner/pole beans plus two crops of bush beans gave us 50 pounds of beans last year, which certainly kept us well supplied!

Derby green beans

Cherry tomatoes are producing well now, and I even oven roasted a few of them last week. I also dehydrate them when we have a lot, but we’re not quite there yet. It’s a mix of Sun Sugar, Sunpeach, Jasper and Fire Fly in this batch, and we enjoyed them on salads and fish tacos last week.

cherry tomatoes

One new cherry tomato I’m growing here this year is called Cherry Bomb. It’s a late blight-resistant hybrid that also has the crimson gene which makes for a deeper red color and a higher lycopene content. All that is great, but what really got me with this one is the flavor. It’s sweet with a rich, full classic tomato flavor. I sampled my first one out in the garden (and my second one), and the ‘wow’ factor reminded me a lot of the first time I tasted a Sun Gold tomato. Unlike Sun Gold though, Cherry Bomb is larger and none of mine are splitting. We ate most of these babies as a snack, and I can’t wait for more to ripen. For more information on this variety, Johnny’s tomato breeder Emily Rose Haga has a Youtube video that serves as a great introduction. I’ll be growing this one again for sure.

Cherry Bomb tomatoes

I also got the first ripe slicing tomatoes last week, a couple each of Perfect Flame and Chef’s Choice Orange. We enjoyed those on sandwiches, and by themselves. I lost a few of the earliest ones to rot, but with drier weather they are looking better now and more should be ripe soon.

Perfect Flame and Chef’s Choice Orange tomatoes

The squashes and cucumber are producing enough for us to eat and some to give away. I gave a couple of the white Itachi cucumbers to our friend Ange, and I didn’t realize one of them was going to be on TV the next day (at 1:26 in video)! Itachi has a mild flavor and tender skin, which makes it useful in the kitchen as well as visually striking. A cucumber with a white skin is somewhat unusual to say the least, though some heirloom varieties have certainly been around for years. The green cucumbers are Corinto, a greenhouse type I’ve been growing for several years. The striped yellow zucchini Sunstripe is also nice to look at and a colorful addition to our meals.

squash and cucumbers

We spiralized some of the green and yellow zucchinis along with a carrot to make a side dish for dinner one night. The veggies are sauteed briefly in olive oil, just long enough to soften a bit and then we added some of our fresh basil. We had more spiralized zucchini on Saturday night as a base for a bolognese red sauce.

spiralized zucchini and carrot cooking

It was a summery harvest in the below photo with blackberries, more Derby beans and two kinds of summer squash. The blackberries and blueberries are slowing down now but we’ve had lots of them to eat and to freeze for later use.

harvest of summer veggies

I finished digging the garlic last week. I won’t know exactly how well it all did until it’s cured and I weigh it, but it appears to have done reasonably well given the wet growing conditions this spring. That said, it will be one crop I’m scaling back on next year. I plan on growing perhaps 40 or 50 bulbs of ones I really like, and buying storage garlic (silverskin types) when that runs out. I need to remind myself I don’t need to grow everything, and garlic is one example of that.

Mild French and Nootka Rose garlic

It was not a great year for cabbage here, with many heads rotting before they got big and the rest never really sizing up like they should. I pulled a few that were usable and the rest went on the compost pile as I prepped that bed for a fall crop of turnips and radishes. All of the napa cabbages rotted, but I’ll try them again this fall when they generally do better anyway.

sad cabbage harvest

I did have enough cabbage to make a few jars of Garlicky Dill Pickle Kraut. To the sliced cabbage I added several chopped pickling cucumbers, a bit of chopped onion, about 8-10 cloves of the fresh minced garlic, dill seeds and 3% salt. I will let it ferment for a couple of weeks before refrigerating.

Garlicky Dill Pickle Kraut

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!

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10 Responses to Harvest Monday July 15, 2019

  1. On your point about “I need to remind myself that I don’t need to grow everything”, it would be maincrop potatoes, it’s incredibly cheap to just buy a couple of bags of organic potatoes in October and put them into the storeroom. Compare that with the cost of compost and constant watering to grow the same in containers in the garden. I’m toying with the idea of focusing my potato growing on super earlies, and ‘Christmas potatoes’ which are very expensive : All the best – Steve

  2. Sue Garrett says:

    I’m considering buying a spiraliser – any tips of what to avoid/look for?

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      The one we have has several different removable blades to make different sized slices and spirals, which is nice. I don’t know what to avoid really. Ours is made by Paderno and we’re happy with it.

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    The tomatoes look fantastic, especially the Cherry Bomb. A shame about your cabbage, though the ones in the picture look pretty good! I don’t know Dave, 40 – 50 bulbs still seems like a lot of garlic, when you consider probably at least 4 cloves per bulb. Way more than I’ve ever planted or plan to. The zucchini noodles and red sauce looks especially yummy.

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      Let me rephrase that – I am thinking about setting out 40-50 cloves to make 40-50 bulbs. I do use a lot for fermenting in summer and fall, and it’s nice to have the homegrown.

  4. Shaheen says:

    My spiraliser only comes out when I have courgettes growing, look forward to using it again. YOur garlicky dill pickle is making my mouth water. Wish we lived close, i’d swap you with some of my homemade plum jam! And those blackberries are amazing, I always think of autumn when I see blackberries, but they are appearing here summertime now – climate change, I guess.

  5. Cherry Bomb looks like a great find. Thanks for sharing all the info and also for the reminder about roasting green beans in the cast iron skillet. Will try that tomorrow night. Spiralizing when zucchini is abundant sounds like a great solution.

  6. Margaret says:

    That white cucumber is amazing! I’d never seen one like that and am surprised that they have been around for a long time – always learning something new 🙂 Every time I see how you use your spiralizer, I’m smitten by the idea – I’ve cut back a lot on specialized kitchen gadgets, but that’s one I may just have to cave on.

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      White Wonder is an old, old variety. And there’s also Miniature White and the almost-white Boothby’s Blonde. Itachi is the first white skinned Japanese type cucumber I have ever seen. It’s parthenocarpic, while the others need pollinating, so I doubt they would work in the greenhouse which is where I grow mine.

  7. As always I look at your harvests with some envy… I guess it is egged on by your seasons being ahead of ours and always wanting what isn’t yet ready here! We have a chilli pepper called Cherry Bomb, but those tomatoes are worth looking out for here.. it looks like it will be “blighty year” in this area, sadly, and the more BR varieites we can grow the better

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